A total quality management system often represents a philosophical mind-set and a few basic management tools. A company can select a system based on its production processes and number of employees. Selecting the best total quality management system for a company involves meeting with management members, creating a plan, and integrating the selected tools into the company. Strategies to further develop the system include an elements approach, guru approach, or organizational approach. Owners and top executives typically make these decisions.
A total quality management system starts with a meeting among top management. These individuals should discuss the philosophical mind-set necessary and how the company will change because of it. In some cases, top managers may need education on this practice. The meeting process can take several months in order to get all management team members on board with the total quality management system.
Once top management fully understands the effects of a total quality management system, they need to develop a plan. The plan will detail which departments will change because of the new system. At this juncture, managers can select the best system elements and how to measure the effects. Most total quality management attributes are individual, so a company can create a planned hybrid system if desired.
Once the plan is complete, a company should slowly integrate the attributes into its operations. A slow integration process ensures the company can implement all features fully and achieve maximum benefit from the system. Changes to the plan may also be necessary as plans on paper do not always come true. Going slow also prevents wasted capital on a total quality management system that fails to work.
Different strategies exist for selecting the best total quality management system. The elements approach looks for specific business processes or activities that need improvement. Companies may only apply certain total quality management characteristics here to improve the company. Over time, the company can change or upgrade the elements to match changes in the business environment.
A guru total quality management system approach follows principles laid out by a leading consultant. Consultants often have a specific approach or take on total quality management systems. As the guru tends to have copious experience in this process, using this approach may be more appropriate than others. Problems can occur, however, if the guru’s system focuses on only one type of system and is inflexible for any others.
An organizational approach to total quality management uses a company’s benchmarks for the system. Benchmarks include financial ratios or other business metrics. Using a trend analysis for benchmarks over time, a company can discover what processes lag in performance. Total quality management attributes can work to alter and adjust business activities as necessary.